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Dr Strange

I love Marvel. There, I said it!

There will always be a part of me that like the classic DC characters, such as Batman, Superman and Green Lantern, and one of my favorite villains is the Riddler – but I much prefer Marvel characters to DC.

Case in Point: Marvel appears to be putting together a movie based on the character of Doctor Strange! He is one of my favorite characters in the Marvel Universe, and while he has had his share of problems, I think this movie could be an amazing thing for such a beloved, but not widely known, character.

GeekTyrant is reporting that both Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer have been hired to write the script for the film, which means the wheels of development are moving! These two have quite the list of projects that they have worked on: the new Conan film, scripted the live-action adaptation of the video game Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune for Sony Pictures, and a draft of Jon Favreau’s upcoming Cowboys & Aliens.

But that’s not all!

While the writers are confirmed, according to ComicBookMovie.com, there are rumors that none other than Guillermo del Toro is on tap to direct. And that they are already considering who will play the doctor.

Expect some announcement of Guillermo del Toro directing Doctor Strange any day now. He has been in talks ever since May, and he actually dropped out of in favor of “Doctor Strange”. Marvel is very pleased with the screenplay Thomas Donnelly and Josh Oppenheimer have shown them, but they are planning to bring another writer on board to make improvements on it. No talks have begun with actors, but Marvel has put together a “wishlist” that has names such as Nestor Carbonell, Skeet Ulrich …

I think del Toro could do some amazing stuff with this film, as he is used to fantastical worlds, mythical creatures and the unexplained. And who better than Nestor Carbonell, the actor who played the mysterious Richard Alpert on Lost?

The earliest the movie could conceivably come out would be after Joss Whedon’s The Avengers in May 2012, so we will have to wait and see. But, I hope Marvel does indeed make this movie.

For those who know nothing about the character of Doctor Strange, here is some background of the character co-created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1963 (provided by GeekTyrant):

Stephen Strange was born to Eugene and Beverly Strange in 1930 while the couple was vacationing in Philadelphia. In 1932 Stephen’s sister Donna was born at the family’s Nebraska farm. Knowing that Strange was destined to become the next Sorcerer Supreme, resentful apprentice sorcerer Karl Mordo beset the child with demons from the age of eight, and on throughout his youth. Ultimately Strange was rescued by Mordo’s master, the Ancient One, mystic protector of the Earth-realm as the current Sorcerer Supreme. A year or two after this torment began, Stephen’s brother, Victor, was born. At age eleven Strange aided an injured Donna, an experience which ultimately fostered an interest in medicine. Strange entered New York College as a pre-med directly out of high school. Later, while home on vacation for his nineteenth birthday, Strange was swimming with Donna when she suffered a cramp. After a frantic search Stephen found her already drowned. The experience left him with a sense of personal failure that eroded his medical idealism.

Stephen earned his medical degree in record time and entered a five-year residency at New York Hospital, where his rapid success made him arrogant. Stephen’s mother Beverly died near the end of his residency, and work became more and more impersonal for the bereaved surgeon. Strange’s talent remained, however, and he became a wealthy and celebrated neurosurgeon before he turned thirty. Egotistical and greedy, cold and callous, Strange’s interest in his patients generally began and ended at his bill. The exception was Madeleine Revell, an injured United Nations translator whom he saved and fell in love with. Following a whirlwind romance and proposal, she left him due to his increasingly materialist nature. Two years after his mother’s death, Strange’s father, Eugene also fell ill. Already crippled by grief over his mother’s death (though he would never admit it), Stephen was unable to face any more tragedy, and refused to visit Eugene’s deathbed. A few days later, an outraged Victor confronted Stephen in his apartment over his apparent lack of grief. Following the confrontation, Victor rushed from the apartment and into the path of an oncoming car. Victor died, and a guilt-wracked Stephen placed Victor’s body in cold storage, half-hoping that future breakthroughs could revive him.

Strange was involved in a debilitating car accident. Though surgeons were able to save Strange, the nerves in his hands were severely damaged. With his surgical career over and too vain to accept positions as a consultant or assistant, Strange exhausted his fortune following every rumored treatment, no matter how legitimate. In a matter of months the once wealthy surgeon became a derelict, and resorted to performing a number of shady medical procedures to survive (and pay his growing bar tabs). Strange’s guilt over the mistakes of his early life would come to weigh heavily upon him over the years, and his recollections of the time could not always be trusted.

After hearing rumors of the mystical Ancient One, Strange pawned his last possessions for a ticket to the East. Strange found the Ancient One’s Tibetan palace, but the aged sorcerer refused to cure him, instead offering to teach him in mysticism. Strange refused, but couldn’t leave immediately due to a sudden blizzard. While staying for the duration of the storm, Strange witnessed the Ancient One’s apprentice, Baron Mordo, secretly attack the teacher with mystically summoned skeletons, which the old man easily dispeled. Strange, his skepticism eroding, confronted Mordo about the treachery but Mordo responded with restraining spells that kept Strange from warning the Ancient One or attacking Mordo physically. Amazed by these displays of magic, Strange underwent a change of heart. Deciding that the only way to stop Mordo was to learn magic himself in order to challenge Mordo on his terms, Strange accepted the Ancient One’s offer. Pleased by Strange’s acceptance for unselfish reasons, the Ancient One removed the mystic restraints, explaining that he was well aware of Mordo’s treachery but prefered to keep Mordo close by in order to control and possibly change him.

The Ancient One had known of Strange and his potential to serve as the Sorcerer Supreme prior to even Strange’s first encounter with him, regarding his hidden prowess so highly that he rejected Damien Hellstrom for Strange as his pupil. The Ancient One had planned to make Dr. Strange his successor.

Strange spent years under the Ancient One’s tutelage, learning to tap the innate mystic powers of himself and the world around him, as well as how to invoke the powers of Principalities, powerful beings such as Dormammu, Satannish, and the Vishanti, who resided in their own mystic realms. A few years after Strange’s arrival, Mordo left the Ancient One’s palace to seek greater power. The two rivals would clash often in the future. It was during this time that Strange passed a test against Death itself. As a reward, Strange was given ageless life, and an ankh-shaped mark on his forehead that would only appear when his life was in dire jeopardy. The Ancient One himself had attained near-immortality by passing this test over 600 years earlier.

During his early years as a student of the mystic arts, Strange befriended many sorcerers around the world, including Lord Julian Phyffe and Sir Clive Bentley of Great Britain; Cardinal Alfeo Spinosa and Count Tancredo Carezzi of Italy; Omar Karindu, Rama Kaliph, and Turhan Barim of the Middle East; Wai Chee Yee and Sen-Yu of Asia; and Aleister Kane, Kenneth Ward, and Frank Brukner of America. Strange also found allies among more of earth’s heroes, aiding the Black Fox in at least two adventures, while other adventurers, such as Immortalis and Terror, Inc., regarded him with skepticism.

Category: Comics, Film

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